Sabah students bring home gold in International Dance Competition

KOTA KINABALU: A group of dancers from Sabah clinched the gold medal in the adult group folklore category during the recent International Dance Competition held in Thailand.

The winning dancers—Bryan Chin Zi Yang, Ashaniabelle Silvestian, Aidan Artt Munsin, Denzel Temson, Davis Yong Jin Yih, and Caleb Wong Zi Xuan—from Wiindbreeze Cultural Association triumphed over representatives from 12 other countries.

Participating countries included Russia, Ukraine, Philippines, Mongolia, Korea, and Thailand.

Coach Mohd Hairul Nazmie Talib said that the achievement was not easy, but the group persevered with significant support from family members and modest contributions from individuals.

"The estimated cost for the journey, from the beginning until the competition, nearly reached RM40,000, but luckily, their parents were very understanding and provided substantial assistance, including for flights and accommodation.

"I believe their biggest motivation was the opportunity to participate and showcase the talents these children possess, especially in arts and culture.

"It is also a means to showcase Sabah's heritage on the international stage," he said, adding that the association, officially registered last year, serves as a platform for youths to enhance their talents.

During the competition, which is jointly organised by the International Dance Organisation Thailand and Korea, the group secured victory by presenting "Rinana Ie Tuow" (The Story of the Pheasant Bird).

Mohd Hairul explained that the ethnic creative performance revolves around the life of a pheasant bird, which is closely associated with the culture of the Murut people.

"Our dancers only had two months to prepare, and practices could only be held during weekends as they come from different districts in the state," he mentioned, noting that they brought home the gold medal and certificates from the competition.

In addition to this recent victory, the association also represented Malaysia at the World Dance Festival in Korea, where they secured three golds, one silver, and one bronze medal each.

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